I just turned 40… To celebrate, my wife took me on an amazing vacation to the beach. After few falls from the paddle board, my body felt all of being 40. But when the presents came, my mind was back at 5, anticipating that one gift wanting and begging all year. This year, I took at self-evaluation about my own longevity. I went to the classical Eastern Medicine text, Huangdi Neijing, for guidance.
In Huangdi Neijing, the Yellow Emperor has a discussion with his physician, Qi Bo, about ways of prolonging life. The physician in the text explains that the male physiology development is in cycle of 8 years and females cycle of 7 years. So this proves that females mature faster than males.
Females (Cycle of 7 Years)
Age 7: Kidney Energy Becomes Full - Permanent Teeth Develops, Hair Grows Long
Age 14: Conception and Vital Channels Open - Menstruation Begins
Age 21: Kidney Energy is Strong & Healthy - Wisdom Teeth Develops, Body is Vital
Age 28: Secondary Sex Characteristics are Complete
Age 35: Yang Ming Channels Deplete - Muscles Begin to Atrophy, Facial Wrinkles Appear
Age 42: All 3 Yang Channels Exhausted - Face Wrinkled, Hair Begins to Grey
Age 49: Conception and Vital Channels Empty - Menopause
Males (Cycle of 8 Years)
Age 8: Kidney Energy Becomes Full - Permanent Teeth Develops, Hair Grows Long
Age 16: Kidney Energy is Ample and Jing is Ripe - Procreation is Possible
Age 24: Kidney Qi is Abundant - Wisdom Teeth Develops, Bones and Muscles Grow Strong
Age 32: Body is at Peak of Strength and Functions of the Male are at Their Height
Age 40: Kidney Qi Begins to Wane - Teeth Loosen & Hair Starts to Fall
Age 48: Yang Energy of Head Deplete - Sallow Face, Hair Grey, Teeth Deteriorate
Age 56: Liver Energy Weakens - Tendons Stiffen
Age 64: Kidney Reservoir Empty - Bone & Tendons Frail, End of Powder of Conception
Now this is just a guide. Back when the text was written, the life expectancy was low. But personally, this year I went to my dentist for more root canals and crowns then ever before. I was also told that there is a crack on the root of my molar and I may need to extract and replaced with implants. And I have noticed more hair on my drain when I am showering...
But there are other who look young and have kids late into their forties and fifties. Even in the text Yellow Emperor asks Qi Bo, how can some elderly are still able to conceive? The physician answers that those individuals inherited an unusual abundance of Jing (Life Force from Parents - Modern Term "Good Genes") and they live properly and protect their vitality (Good Food, Exercise & No Stress). They also mention that immortals keep their mental energies focused and refined and harmonized their bodies with the environment. Basically sit still, don't do anything, just keep meditating to live forever. Even in the text they mention that it is not realistic.
So how can we prolong our life. In the text they say,
Live in accordance with the rhythmic patterns of the seasons:
Heaven and Earth, Moon, Sun, and Star.
Adapt to Society without being Swayed by Cultural Trends.
Free from Emotional Extremes and Live a Balanced Contented Existence.
Do Not Scatter and Disperse Your Energy.
Live Plainly and Enjoy Life.